Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stem Cell Cagefighting for Christmas

Not surprisingly, my two brothers continue to be complete HLA matches, i.e., they match the 10 identifiable antigens (HLA=human leukocyte antigen). These antigens regulate how the body recognizes and rejects foreign tissue. The doctors have not yet decided which brother's stem cells to use. Once again I suggested Mike and Tom "take it out back" and I'll take the stem cells from the winner. Rifkin's assistant was initially appalled, then realized I was joking. Or was I? Perhaps a stem cell cagefight for the holidays. We could make it a fundraiser and send the money to stem cell research. Once again it seems I'm getting my brothers into a fight, just like I used to do growing up in ND.

Blood work this week was good for me. White count 2.7, which is good for me when I'm on chemo; hemoglobin 10.2, hematocrit 32 (quite good for me on therapy) and platelets 71--stable. No word on IGGs. They'll be measured this Monday when I start cycle 2, results probably after Christmas.

This week I'm off revlimid, which is nice. That little pill really tires me out and makes me lightheaded. I function on it, but when I get off it, I realize the work involved in day to day activities. My skin is once again peeling off and I haven't been sunning myself. I feel like a snake--molting. What's up with that? My neuropathies are also worsening. The left foot continues to lose feeling. I think that as the years go on and therapies get piled on top of one another, my tolerance lessens. That being said, I always tell my doctor I'm doing fine. I have few options left and do not want to provide any basis for either discontinuing the treatment or reducing the dosage. Numb feet presents all kinds of opportunities. Walking on hot coals; walking barefoot on the ice; wearing shoes 2 sizes too small, kicking the walls, etc. The circus beckons. On the other hand the numbness will likely interfere with my workouts on the balance beam and pogo stick.

The pneumonia is gone, I think. Chest x ray today will tell the tale.

That's it friends. Have a great holiday, Christmas, Hannukah or whatever you celebrate. We wish for you much love, peace, and prosperity for the coming year and are filled with gratitude we have such a wide circle of fine family and friends.


Ingrid said...

Well Dan,
this post worries me quite a bit.
The numbness in your feet, neuropathy going on, those are no good words to read.
Your spirit seems to be pretty high.
I too wish you and Susan a Merry Christmas with a warm big hug.
love you two,

scoopondan said...

Don't worry. Be happy. It's the only way to live, regardless of the path you're on. Merry Christmas. We love you.

Steven L. Ritter said...

To a new friend...

I wish you and your family a merry Christmas... I hope you can push through these things. Keep smiling and know that somebody in California is praying for you!


Brother Ted said...

What a great post!! The blood work sound good. I am willing to pay to see the Patterson brothers duke it out. And the joy in your voice is infectious. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family. By the way, I saw and advertisement for the Winter Gun Show. Do you want to go?

tim's wife said...

How great that both your brothers
are matches. Maybe they should duke it out in those blow-up sumo wrestler outfits though. Gotta protect them stem cells. Be a great "you-tube"
clip to see. BTW, if the balance beam or pogo stick beckons, I hope
Santa brings you a jock strap with
a 5 star crash rating. ;o)

Big Frank Dickinson said...

I think you ought to think of a fairer way to decide this. If indeed it is a cage match, the outcome would be obvious, and I wouldn't want to publically humilate the Big Guy. I suggest a poetry slam!


..WW.. said...

great stuff...